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Putin hints at staff reshuffle in Russian national ice hockey and football teams

At the 2021 IIHF World Championship, hosted by Latvia’s Riga between May 21 and June 6, the Russian team failed to clear the quarterfinals stage of the tournament losing to Canada 1-2 in the overtime period

MOSCOW, June 30. /TASS/. The poor performance of the Russian national ice hockey and football teams at the recent international tournaments call for changes, including staff reshuffles, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.

"Sports is sports. There can be triumphs, defeats and failures," Putin said. "The fact that both the Russian ice hockey and football teams did not deliver results to expectation cannot go unnoticed."

"We must think about what was done by positive people and then think with them as well about what can be changed, including staff reshuffles, in football and ice hockey," the president added.

"However, we must approach it [the reshuffles] without the self-chastise, but with the hope for the better, since we definitely boast a strong potential," the president added.

At the 2021 IIHF (the International Ice Hockey Federation) World Championship, hosted by Latvia’s Riga between May 21 and June 6, the Russian team failed to clear the quarterfinals stage of the tournament losing to Canada 1-2 in the overtime period.

This month at the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup, the Russian national team failed to clear the group stage of the tournament. The Russian football team has wrapped up its European championship tour finishing in Group B’s cellar with three points after three matches.

The team kicked off its 2020 Euro Cup campaign with a 0-3 defeat against Belgium and a 1-0 win over Finland - both matches were played in Russia’s St. Petersburg. Nevertheless, they lost to Denmark 1-4 in Copenhagen on the night of June 21.

Reaction of the RFU

Earlier in the day, the Russian Football Union (RFU) Technical Committee has given the work of the national team’s head coach, Stanislav Cherchesov, at the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup, low marks branding it unsatisfactory.

According to Mikhail Gershkovich, a member of the committee, "Cherchesov has acknowledged it as well, having pointed it out in his statement".

Cherchesov, 57, took the reins of the national football squad in the summer of 2016 signing a contract with the RFU to work as the head coach of the team until August 2018.

In July 2018, the RFU extended the contract with Cherchesov for two more years stipulating an option of prolonging it for another two-year term. The decision of the Russian governing football body to maintain its partnership with Cherchesov followed the national team’s successful home performance during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Led by Cherchesov, the Russian national football team managed to reach the knockout stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup advancing with a win over the Spanish team in the round of Last 16 and then losing on a penalty shootout in the quarterfinals to Croatia, which eventually reached the final match of that world championship in Russia.